South Dakota Native Plant Research
Asteraceae : Artemisia ludoviciana

Asteraceae : Artemisia ludoviciana


Download Mature plant in garden (980 KB)

Download Seedling (534 KB)

Download Mature wild plant (1.1 MB)

Download Inflorescence (832 KB)

Family Name


Common Name

White sage, Ceremonial sage

Native American Name

Lakota: pȟeží hóta wápe blaskásk


Artemisia ludoviciana is an aromatic, rhizomatous perennial herb that grows from 30-100 cm tall, covered in white hairs. The alternate, linear to lanceolate leaves are 3-11 cm long and up to 1.5 cm wide and are also covered in woolly gray or white hairs. The margins of the leaves are entire to irregularly lobed. The inflorescences are terminal narrow panicles of many nodding flower heads. Each small head is about 0.5 cm wide, surrounded by hairy involucral bracts 2.5-4 mm long. The receptacle is naked with numerous small yellow florets, the outer ones pistilate and the central florets are perfect. The fruit is a minute achene. Flowers bloom from July to October in most counties in South Dakota.

Additional Notes

White sage is an important ceremonial plant used by most or all the indigenous peoples of the Great Plains. It makes a great colonizing groundcover plant in any native plant garden having attractive silvery foliage and the ability to take tough conditions. It also provides nesting materials for bees.

Horticulture Notes

Seed collection: Collect from early October to early November when achenes turn brown.

Germination: Seed dormancy can be broken by fall seeding or a 60-to-90-day cold, moist stratification.

Vegetative propagation: can be propagated by divisions of rhizomes.

Light: Full sun.

Soils: Dry to mesic, well drained rocky, shallow soils, sand, loam and clay produce attractive plants. Plants become leggy in fertile, moist soils.

Asteraceae : Artemisia ludoviciana